Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We Don't Have To Forget How To Do Research With Surveys, Just Merge and Evolve the Process A Little

Do you remember back in the day when Pee-Wee Herman would get a "secret word" from Conky? In the 80's, Conky was a masterpiece of technology and Pee-Wee was a tech-savvy guy, surrounded by cool gadgets and gizmos. Turns out, Pee-Wee's still showing off his love of technology, and he still hangs with his old crew. These days, Conky still gives a "secret word" each day, but now he's sending it to Pee-Wee's iPad! **SCREAM**

The way that we've come to know how surveys are created, administered, and reporting can be broken down into a few very basic steps. Let's break these steps down and compare this OLD process to a TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED process:

1) Create A Survey For A Research Purpose

SCENARIO: Let's say a company wants to do research. Well, first thing that needs to be done is figuring out the questions. All right, questions figured out.

OLD: Ok, so we know the questions we want to ask. Now we'll go ahead and enter each question into a document. That's easy enough.

NEW: Hey, what's this? Survey Analytics is survey software that let's me create surveys online? Nice! I could take the opportunity to share all of the rockin' abilities Survey Analytics gives us, but if you don't know, then get on it & check out the website!

2) Field Researchers Collect Survey Data

SCENARIO: Researchers are set up and sent off to collect survey data.

OLD: Equipped with a clipboard, a short pencil, and a stack of paper, the researcher is set to go. Respondent #1 is approached and the survey begins. Each answer is written down as fast as a person can write. Oh, look - people are passing by while the surveyor is writing down the answers. Goodbye potential respondents, hello cramping hands.

NEW: Oh, SurveyPocket, how I love thee! Since surveys were created online using Survey Analytics, I can synchronize SurveyPocket on my iPad with my Survey Analytics account and my surveys magically appear on my iPad! On SurveyPocket, just hop on an internet connection, press "Synchronize", and voila! All of my surveys are now on my iPad. Worried about no internet connection? Well, that's where SurveyPocket has leapt ahead in innovation. After synchronizing with your online account when connected to the internet,  SurveyPocket can be taken fully offline and surveys can be administered.

3) These Recorded Answers Are Then Manually Transposed, 1-by-1, To Create A Report

SCENARIO: It's time to enter data into the main system so that we can get reports generated.

OLD: Survey #1: question 1 transposed, question 2 transposed, ... now to Survey #2... Wait - I have 3500 surveys to transpose?! Hope I don't *lose* some data along the way!

NEW: Internet + The "Synchronize" button on SurveyPocket. All data uploaded to your SurveyAnalytics account. Phew... that was hard work!

4) Reports Complete

SCENARIO: All of the data has made it's way to being analyzed for reporting.

OLD: Now to go through all of the data and find some patterns, calculate some percentages, and whatever else needs to be done.

NEW: One sec... looking at the reporting section on Survey Analytics to see the results and report.
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